October 11, 1987 |
The Bretts, tonight's season-opener for Masterpiece Theater (Channel 12 at 9), begins the eight-part chronicle of an English family during the 1920s. This may sound like your average Masterpiece, but it's not: The Bretts are a family of actors, treading the boards on the London stage and making catty remarks as they stalk through their decaying mansion. They pose and they preen; they bruise one another's egos and quote Chekhov for breakfast. Even Alistair Cooke is roused from his usual torpor in introducing the premiere of The Bretts.
May 9, 1987 |
Love Song, a two-part Masterpiece Theater presentation beginning tomorrow (9 p.m., Channel 12), is based on a story by Jeffrey Archer, the best- selling novelist of naughtiness and former deputy chairman of Britain's Conservative Party who resigned in October 1986 in the midst of a sex scandal. Given the fact of Archer's authorship and the moony title of this project, one might be forgiven for hoping that Love Song would be an enjoyable wallow in the mud, an occasion for the usually high-minded Masterpiece Theater to go slumming.
May 19, 1989
Alistair Cooke, a naturalized citizen who still talks funny, is featured on a recent mailing from a group that wants to give the United States an official language, English. The theory is that if English remains just an unofficial habit rather than something written into the Constitution, new immigrants - especially Hispanics - will turn the United States into a house divided by language, which would be just awful. (Without good English as a bond, just think how much worse the Civil War would have been!
March 22, 1986 |
If you're a college basketball fan, you're in luck this afternoon. If you're a fan of quality TV, you're out of luck tonight - except for a Nell Carter special and, believe it or not, Saturday Night Live. DAYTIME HIGHLIGHT NCAA BASKETBALL REGIONAL FINALS (1:30 p.m., Ch. 10) - In the West, it's Louisville vs. Auburn. In the Southeast, it's Kentucky vs. Louisiana State. Today's regional finals are played in that order, live from Houston and Atlanta, respectively. CBS. Three of the four women's regional finals, by the way, can be seen from 6 p.m. to midnight on cable's ESPN.
December 3, 1988 |
Heaven on Earth, the new single-episode edition of Masterpiece Theater airing tomorrow (Channel 12 at 9 p.m.), dramatizes one result of Britain's Industrial Revolution at the end of the 19th century: an unusually large number of orphans. These were children whose parents neglected them while they worked in the booming factories, or who were the survivors of parents who died from the frequent industrial accidents. Many of these luckless young people were sent to Canada and placed in foster homes - more than 125,000 of them between 1865 and 1914, in fact, under a program organized by a British feminist, Susan Rye. All of this is explained by Masterpiece host Alastair Cooke before the start of this 90-minute, Canadian-made production, and it's a good thing, too, because Heaven on Earth itself provides little historical context.
June 21, 2015 |
Aidan Turner, so dashing as the soulful vampire with a conscience in BBC's Being Human , is in top form as the lead in Brit import Poldark , a gorgeously shot eight-part costumer set along England's Cornish coastline. The Masterpiece series premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday on PBS (locally on WHYY-TV). Based on novels by 20th-century author Winston Graham and previously adapted for TV in the mid-1970s with Robin Ellis in the titular role, Poldark is glossy, attractive, and exciting.
April 10, 1994 |
To TV types, Masterpiece Theater is the name of a high-quality show, winner of 26 Emmys, 23 years young, the longest-running prime-time drama series in America. That makes Middlemarch, the six-part Masterpiece adaptation of George Eliot's acclaimed novel about English provincial life that debuts tonight at 9 on Channel 12, just another episode to insiders. But since when do book types let TV types do their thinking for them? Last week, Harry Evans, droll British-born president of Random House, invented his own genre of "masterpiece theater.
March 28, 2012 |
Turns out dudes did watch "Downton Abbey. " We knew it all along, thanks to the guys who spoke with Daily News reporter Molly Eichel last month about what the hit "Masterpiece Theater" costume drama meant to them. And now PBS finally has some numbers to back it up. Ratings for "Downton's" Season 2 were up at least 100 percent among female and male 18- to 34-year-olds above the previous season's average for the "Masterpiece" series, the network reported Wednesday, citing Nielsen's finale ratings.
October 17, 1986 |
Masterpiece Theater, one of the most enduring and beloved of all television series, will begin its 16th season Sunday. Since works by six solid English fiction writers will be dramatized, its prospects for 1986-87 look promising. Sometimes I worry that Masterpiece's best nights may be behind it, because almost a decade has passed since its finest achievement, the unforgettable Upstairs, Downstairs, closed its Edwardian doors. But because the value of good scripts is never to be underestimated, it's hard to throw rocks in advance at this schedule for the coming season: Paradise Postponed, based on a 1985 novel of the same name by John Mortimer, will present the first of 11 episodes at 9 Sunday night on PBS (Channel 12)
November 23, 1990 |
Bye Bye Blues, winner of scads of awards in film festival competitions and at the Canadian equivalent of the Oscars, is a wistful, period-piece romance - not a superheated tearjerker, but a gently dolorous tale in the Masterpiece Theater mold. One that hinges on real experiences, real emotion. A home-front drama set amid the tumult of World War II, the film, written and directed by Canadian Anne Wheeler, deals with a woman's struggle to find a degree of happiness - and independence - while her husband is overseas, his fate unknown.